Thursday, July 7, 2011

Guest Post: The Review Girl

My love affair with blogging
By Komal Mansoor
Blog: http://komzreviews.blogspot.com/

Having a blog is like having your own diary – only it’s much more than that. You express what you want to, without any constraints or limitations and this gives you the freedom to customise your blog according to your needs and your requirements (personal and professional) and you share your ‘online diary’ with everyone. Unlike your private diary with a big lock, it’s public! If you are an author, you might want to use it for marketing your books or discussing different aspects of writing with fellow authors. If you are an avid book reader like me, you may want to read and review it, so others can also understand what the book is about and whether they should buy it or not. If you are into make-up and beauty, you would love to share about your cosmetic products. If you are a musician or a graphic designer, it can showcase your professional work and so on.

The best thing about the blog is it reflects you, your personality and it gives you the opportunity to be part of a community which has the same likes or dislikes, regardless of the fact that the people you interact with are from Ghana or from ‘sin city’ of Las Vegas. Thus, it gives you exposure to the world while maintaining your interests and professional demands. You can be yourself while connecting with the rest of the world. Bless you, World Wide Web for giving us the gift of blogging! Sitting at home, we can write, post and publish and gather comments and feedback in seconds! That is the power of blogging and definitely one of the major reasons why I blog!

My love affair with blogging started in 2006, it was because of a cover story on blogging, an assignment from my editor at “The Nation” (one of Pakistan’s biggest English newspapers). The result: I started chronicling my life on daily basis on my blog. Being an introvert, it gave me the perfect opportunity to connect with everyone without exposing myself too much. Most of all, it made me happy.

Every time I sat in front of my PC, and scribbled (typed), it gave me that adrenaline rush, that excitement of having my presence on internet. After many years, I still feel the same nervousness coupled with high levels of exhilaration as if I am one carefree teenager! Trust me, it is the best feeling in the whole wide world! It’s an addiction, you just can’t stop, once you are into it, you are a blogger for the rest of your life.

There were phases in which I did not write for months or wrote daily, or did away with my previous blog and opened new ones. Until now, I have created and demolished more than 5 blogs, each with a bit of new theme, and overall, posting more than 100 times. When I look back, I think they actually reflect my maturity level that comes with age and after passing through different phases of life. When I read them now, I laugh out loud because some of them are so funny or so idiotic (Ah! the pleasures of adolescence!) Some things which will either make me blush or feel bizarre about myself now. Gosh! This is so making me sound crazy. *laughs*

Now I have opened up a book blog (for the first time!) “The Review Girl”  which is a lot eclectic in nature. It focuses mainly on reviews of course, but not just books. I review music, movies, celebrities, rarely travel. Why I started this? Because after many years of rambling about my life, I felt I needed to mix and match my personal likes with my professional work, which is journalistic writing. Being a feature writer for more than a decade now and working for many English dailies and magazines in Pakistan, I wanted to have my own paper, more like a magazine. But since I am married now and my hubby’s odd working hours do not allow me to go for my full-time job, I decided to open my blog.

It is styled on the likes of an e-zine, offering reviews on fun stuff, some celeb gossip and author interviews. I am also including some useful articles on different aspects of writing which come under the umbrella of “guest posts”, so people not only find my blog entertaining but also informative and helpful. Though my desire to have my own print magazine still remains a fantasy, it somehow gets satisfied through my blog.

Thanks to all my lovely followers who have encouraged me so much in a short span of time. To show my appreciation, I am having my very first international “Giveaway” on my blog, open till 17th July. I am loving the whole concept and with so many entries already, I think it’s going to be awesome! Fingers crossed!

I love blogging because unlike newspapers, TV or other media, this does not hamper an artist to showcase his/her abilities with censorship and rules etc. If you are creative and know how to grasp attention of others, sky is the limit!
So tell me why do you blog?

About Komal:
Komal Mansoor has worked as a feature writer for “The Nation”, “The News” and many English monthly magazines as well as e-zines from Pakistan for many years. She loves to work behind the camera and has worked as an assistant director under a Delhi-based production house during her 4 years stay in India. She has wooed audiences with her chirpy voice and quirky style of presenting talk shows, music programmes as well as doing news-anchoring and voice-over on radio for a year, while working for a community radio station in West Yorkshire, UK. Her biggest dream is to become a television talk show host like Ellen and Oprah and travel around the world. She has a Masters Degree in Mass Communication from Kinnaird College, Lahore, Pakistan.

17 comments:

  1. Thanks for featuring me on your blog! You ROCK!:)

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  2. Komal, thank YOU for so graciously appearing here today. If any authors are reading this post ... questions for Komal regarding the review process? How to query a book blog?

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  3. Christine dear Im thnkful to u for having a guest post by Komal. Its sooo appealing.Im a regular critic of Komal's blog. She is so energetic, always having new ideas n have the ability of presenting catchy material.Obviously she has enough knowledge of her masters in mass communication. Gud luck to u n Komal.

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  4. Ank, it's a delight to have Komal here!

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  5. @Christine: Yes, sure, I would love to answer and help out regarding reviews/book blog.
    @ankhseojhal: Thanks so much for being my blog's regular commentator. I appreciate your enthusiasm and strive to make my blog better for my readers!:)

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  6. Any questions out there from authors? The Review Girl is here to help.

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  7. Interesting post; I went from personal blogging to professional oriented blogging this year and seem to be getting a better response but it IS nice to know that personal blogging still has its place in the b'sphere! I do have a question though:
    Do you find that professional blogs should have more or less PR than personal?

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  8. @P.I: Thanks for your feedback. A very smart question. I think it does not matter, whether the blog is personal or professional, if the author of the blog wants to get it promoted and knows how to work his/her way across the network, he/she will definitely have more PR for the blog. These days, I find professional blogs with more PR than personal ones. I hope I answered your question well.
    I am sure Christine would have some insights too on this, as her blog is more professional. What say, Christine?

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  9. I can't speak for book blogs but from an author's perspective, the best sites combine self-promotion with tips for other writers blended with snippets of personal memoir. Frankly, I think we've been inundated with posts offering advice on craft. Too many grammar lessons, and the busy reader clicks to another site.

    I suspect the author blogs enjoying the most traffic today offer concrete insights into the journey from publication to financial success. Indie authors especially want to know how to profit from publication.

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  10. I had my book, Beatrice Munson (www.LorenaBBooks.com and Amazon.com) reviewed by Komal and she was great. As an Indie Author the relationship to the book review bloggers is essential and it was wonderful as I began my journey promoting Beatrice that she was so happy to give her input. The review was good and her writing is stellar! I am a big fan!

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  11. @Christine: As a book blogger, I always visit author's website /blog to find relevant information. While a website gives more professional look, a blog gives more personal touch to an author's life. Some websites even have blogs embedded, so they reap benefits of both. I agree that articles helpful in publication/writing are of great interest for fellow authors/readers.
    @Unknown: Okay, I can only see the words "a big fan", the rest is kinda blurry ;) Just kidding! Thanks for lovely feedback.

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  12. @Unknown, I couldn't agree more. Indie authors must build solid relationships with book bloggers. When I first released Treasure Me in the Kindle store, I approached book blogs with the same mindset I'd used, years earlier, to garner literary representation: a great query. Professionalism goes a long way.

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  13. Hi Christine,

    It was nice meeting your guest, Komal. I checked out her Blog, The Review Girl and it is awesome!

    Thanks.

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  14. Nas, your blog is also wonderful! http://nas-dean.blogspot.com

    Perhaps you'd consider posting on my site, to give readers more insight into how reviewers select books to feature? How they manage a blog, not to mention all that reading? I'd love to host you here!

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  15. One of the amazing things about blogging, is that as you cruise through blogs, you just never know who you are going meet, and where you are going to meet them!!

    Hello, Komal! Excellent post! Lots of information - especially for us Newbies!! I will definitely be book-marking this page.

    Plus, I am a new follower of Christine!

    So, I guess I will see you both around the Blogs!!


    Patricia
    Choose Joy!

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  16. @Nas and Patricia: Just saw your comments...Thanks for finding my article helpful and loving my blog. So sweet of both of you!:)

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  17. Patricia, I'm with you--I love spinning through blogs and meeting amazing new book reviewers like Komal and Nas. The same goes for sites developed by other writers--I've made so many new author friends through the words they've posted in cyberspace. Many thanks for following.

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